Singapore will host the fifth World Youth Tchoukball Championships next year, after beating Brazil five votes to two in the bidding process in Europe yesterday morning.
The tournament will be from Aug 16-18 next year at either Our Tampines Hub or Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre, and will attract at least 750 players and officials from more than 50 teams.
"We decided to put in a bid after the Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championships (in July). We thought that it was a good time to host the world youth championships, since we've already hosted the Asia-Pacific one," Tchoukball Association of Singapore (TBAS) president Delane Lim told The Straits Times yesterday.
"From the feedback of the countries then, a lot thought that Singapore is a good venue to host tournaments. Also, we wanted to profile our sport at the next level, to let people here know that we are a performance sport."
Singapore also hosted the last World Youth Tchoukball Championships in 2015, when 30 teams took part, with the Republic upsetting world No. 1 team Chinese Taipei to win the Under-18 boys' title.
Lim, a 33-year-old businessman, estimates that the tournament will cost about $200,000, and is already looking for corporate sponsors to defray the costs.
Beyond the youth competition, he also has ambitious plans for the niche sport for the next few years.
Estimated costs of hosting the the World Youth Tchoukball Championships.
He aims to host the senior world championships in the next "three to five years", as well as to elevate the TBAS to a national sports association (NSA) recognised by Sport Singapore.
"Being recognised as an NSA means that schools who are working with us will be able to recognise their students' achievements in tchoukball," said Lim, who is also the Singapore Bowling Federation honorary secretary.
Recognition - in terms of schools colours awards, among others - will help TBAS expand its base of players too. Lim aims to have 10,000 tchoukball players by 2020, up from about 8,000 now across the ages of 10 to 28.
He is also aiming to help push the sport to become a demonstration sport at the SEA Games.
"Chinese Taipei are the world leaders in the sport because they train every day and, whereas there is always a chance to beat them like we did in 2015, the chance is very slim," Lim said.
"In South-east Asia though, we are the leaders, so if we get to represent Singapore at that level, I am quite sure we can win medals."